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30 years on: Stags win the Freight Rover Trophy!

24 May 2017

Today is 30 years to the day since Mansfield Town won at Wembley in the Freight Rover Trophy Final, widely regarded as the club's greatest ever day.

Managed by the legendary Ian Greaves, Stags beat Bristol City 5-4 on penalties after the game finished 1-1 after extra time. 

Winger Kevin Kent struck Mansfield Town into the lead after 57 minutes to send the travelling Stags' fans into raptures in the capital. 

They were heading for victory until Bristol's Glyn Riley gave the opposition a lifeline just three minutes from time when he scored to send the game into extra time. 

There were no further goals in the 30 extra minutes and therefore the game became the first ever cup final held at Wembley to be decided by penalties. 

After the first penalty for each side was scored, Stags were dealt a blow after Rob Newman's successful penalty for City was followed by Keith Cassell's saved spot-kick. 

With Stags at 2-1 down, Bristol were in the driving seat and they scored their next two penalties, but Stags kept up the pressure by also converting their third and fourth kicks - scored by Ian Stringfellow and Gary Pollard. 

City knew that if they scored their final penalty, they'd be crowned Freight Rover Trophy champions, but Stags' 'keeper Kevin Hitchcock read Gordon Owen's penalty and kicked it away, giving Stags the chance to take the shoot-out into sudden death. 

Winger Kevin Kent, who had scored the Stags' goal in normal time, stepped up and dispatched Stags fifth and final penalty to draw the scores level at 4-4. 

Then Stags were handed the chance to win it when Hitchcock made his second save of the shoot-out when he kept out David Moyes' spot-kick, handing Tony Kenworthy the opportunity to win the match for the Stags. 

The defender made no mistake as he fired his penalty home to send players, staff and fans into jubilation as the club won their first major trophy. 

The following day, the players and staff were welcomed back to Mansfield with an open top bus parade as the town came out to worship their heroes. 

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